What Is A Game Changer In Business & How Do I Become One? (2021 Edition)

Dan Sullivan
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What is a game changer in business?

Here’s my definition: A game changer is someone who introduces something with so much added value that their competitors want to become their customers.

The game changers are the ones who break beyond the traditional confines of business and become immensely successful at whatever they do. They not only dominate their niche, they define it by becoming the go-to company, service, expert, or influencer.

And if you’re wondering why I’m qualified to be talking about the idea of a game changer, it’s because I’ve spent decades learning how to change my own game.

This is not something that happens overnight, but it is something you can consciously work toward if you understand how game changers are made. So let’s take a look at what it means to be a game changer in business and what it takes to become one.

Game changers are comfortable with breaking norms.

If you want to introduce something so revolutionary that you’re able to turn your competitors into customers, you’re going to need to break some norms and think outside of the box. Game changers come up with outlandish ideas and pursue them even when everyone else thinks they’re crazy.

Here’s an example from my own life …

One day in 1987, I was thinking about how long people live, and I got this idea that people talk themselves into dying. They hear statistics about the average male dying at 78 years old and their brain and body just assume that’s when they should go. And if that’s true, then we are able, through a shift in our mindsets, to determine how long we’ll live.

So I thought about what age I want to live to, and I decided I’d like to live a complete century. Not just 100 years, but from the beginning of one century to the next. And since I missed the 20th century, it would have to be the 21st.

That meant I would need to live to be 156 years old if I wanted to see the year 2100.

So, that’s the number I settled on. I became determined to live to 156, and I still am. I didn’t tell anyone about this for five years because it seemed like such a crazy idea. But after a few years of thinking this way, I noticed that everything I did in my life had changed. Everything I was doing was pushing me toward that goal of living to 156 years old.

This is one of many ideas I’ve had that most people would describe as outlandish or even crazy. But this ended up being one of the pivotal mindset shifts that set me on the path to becoming a game changer in business and life.

Dan tells this story and many others in the documentary “Game Changer: The Dan Sullivan Story” along with commentary from other game changers in the Strategic Coach community. Watch the film here.

Game changers don’t fight back.

When game changers come up with these outlandish ideas, they’re usually met with the devil’s advocate. Everyone tells them they’re crazy, their idea won’t work, and that their business is going to fail.

As human beings, our natural instinct is to fight back in these situations. We argue and try to prove our point. But the real game changers understand that fighting isn’t worth their time. You don’t get very far by doing that, and nothing of value comes out of it.

Game changers aren’t concerned whether people think their ideas are outlandish or crazy. It doesn’t change their thinking, and it doesn’t change the fact that they will relentlessly pursue their goals and ideas to get where they want to go. If anything, it fuels them!

Game changers welcome obstacles.

When most people hit obstacles, they get discouraged or give up entirely.

Game changers understand that obstacles are the raw material that creates the road map to success. They welcome obstacles because that means they’re on the right path. After all, if there were no obstacles, then everyone would be a game changer!

Overcoming obstacles is just the natural progression for game changers. They face obstacles throughout their lives, but they understand the value of them. Overcoming obstacles not only makes you and your business stronger, it makes the end result that much more valuable.

What is a business without obstacles, after all? The reality is that businesses that don’t encounter any obstacles are ordinary, mediocre, and only mildly successful. Businesses that encounter many obstacles (and overcome them) are the true game changers. Those are the ones that become wildly successful and ubiquitous, and dominate their niche.

When game changers have no obstacles in their path, they see a problem. And when there are obstacles, they welcome them—because obstacles energize them, encourage them, and guide them.

So when we ask ourselves, “What is a game changer in business?”, most of us already know the answer …

The game changers are the ones who do what everyone else is unwilling to do. They break norms, they welcome adversity, and they see obstacles for what they really are: fuel to get where they want to go.